Wednesday, July 17, 2024

What Do They Give You For Shingles

You Cannot Get Shingles From Someone With Chickenpox

Shingles: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment with Dr. Mark Shalauta | San Diego Health

You cannot get shingles from someone with shingles or chickenpox.

But you can get chickenpox from someone with shingles if you have not had chickenpox before.

When people get chickenpox, the virus remains in the body. It can be reactivated later and cause shingles if someone’s immune system is lowered.

This can be because of stress, certain conditions, or treatments like chemotherapy.

How Long After Ive Received The Shingles Vaccine Am I Contagious

With the currently authorized shingles vaccine, Shingrix, you wont be contagious. The old vaccine, Zostavax, used a weakened form of the live varicella-zoster virus. Therefore, people worried about spreading the disease to the people around them.

Shingrix doesnt use a live version of the varicella-zoster virus. It is inactivated, which means it uses a dead version of the virus. Therefore, you have no risk of transmitting the disease to anyone.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

No one likes to get shots, especially for something youve already been vaccinated for. But the newer version of the shingles vaccine is one youll want to offer up your arm for. The Shingrix vaccine is more than 90% effective at helping you prevent shingles. Since most of us have had chickenpox in the past, the shingles vaccine is an easy way to prevent the dormant chickenpox virus from creeping up and hitting you again with shingles.

How Long Does A Shingles Outbreak Last

It can take three to five weeks from the time you begin to feel symptoms until the rash totally disappears.

  • First, a few days before the rash appears, you may feel pain in an area on your skin. The pain is described as itching, burning, stabbing or shooting. This usually happens before the rash comes.
  • Next, the raised rash appears as a band or a patch, usually on one side of your body. The rash usually appears around your waistline or on one side of your face, neck, or on the trunk , but not always. It can occur in other areas including your arms and legs.
  • Within three to four days, the rash develops into red, fluid-filled, painful, open blisters.
  • Usually, these blisters begin to dry out and crust over within about 10 days.
  • The scabs clear up about two to three weeks later.
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    A Word About The Shingles Vaccine

    If you are age 60 or over and have not had shingles, talk to your doctor about getting the shingles vaccine. Not only will it reduce your risk of developing shingles, but if you do develop shingles, youll be more likely to have a mild case. And, just as important, youll be much less likely to develop PHN if youve had the vaccine.

    Are There Alternative Treatments

    TruDefinition® Duration® Designer Shingles

    Some studies show that various alternative treatments, from acupuncture to supplements, can offer relief. The research isnât complete, but some shows promise. Check with your doctor before you try any of these:

    TENS . This therapy uses tiny electrical pulses to relieve pain. A TENS unit is about the size of a smartphone and comes with small patches called electrodes. You put them over the painful area and turn the unit on and off as your pain comes and goes.

    Traditional Chinese medicine: These treatments aim to restore balance in your body. They include acupuncture, the ancient practice of inserting very thin needles into your skin at specific points. Also, moxibustion and cupping, two types of heat therapy, are supposed to draw out toxins. These treatments may be done in combination.

    Creams and other skin treatments: A mixture of liquid dimethyl sulfoxide and idoxuridine, an antiviral drug, may reduce swelling and the number of blisters you have when you put it on your rash. And chlorophyll, the chemical that gives plants their green color, is also used directly on the rash as a cream or saline solution.

    Supplements: Youâll find a long list of herbs, pills, and oils that claim to relieve shingles. Most have no research to back them up, but there are a couple of exceptions. Papain, a protein found in papayas, is sold in capsules. And manuka and clover honeys can be put directly on your skin. Very early studies on both show they may be helpful.

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    What Are Shingles Symptoms

    Common symptoms of shingles are pain and a rash in a belt-like form that stops at the midline of the body affecting only one side. Symptoms of shingles progress from burning and itching sensations to severe pain at the location of the rash. Early shingles symptoms may include burning, tingling, or a numb sensation on the skin accompanied by headache, upset stomach, and chills.

    Later stages include painful fluid-filled blisters that cause severe pain, fever, and severe itching.

    What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

    Its normal to have questions before you get a vaccine. Some common questions you may want to discuss with your healthcare provider include:

    • When should I get the shingles vaccine?
    • What side effects should I expect?
    • How does the shingles vaccine work?
    • When should I schedule each dose of the shingles vaccine?
    • How effective is the shingles vaccine?
    • Is there any reason I shouldnt get the shingles vaccine?
    • What could happen if I dont get the shingles vaccine?

    Read Also: What Is The Best Remedy For Shingles

    What If You Have Shingles Around Or In Your Eye

    Community Eye Health

    If shingles are in the eye, they most often show up inside the eyelid and on the surface or the eyeball, says Rebecca Taylor, MD, an ophthalmologist with Nashville Vision Associates in Tennessee.

    On the surface, says Dr. Taylor, they mainly show up on the cornea, which is the clear dome of tissue that covers your iris , and the conjunctiva the clear tissue that covers the whites of your eye and the inside of your eyelid.

    If shingles is in these places, she says, youll be prescribed eye drops with steroids to calm the lesions, and lubricating tears for comfort.

    If you have had shingles in your eye, says Taylor, your eye doctor will monitor you for 3 to 12 months to make sure that your eye is returning to health and that no new developments have occurred. You may also be encouraged to have a yearly eye exam until otherwise instructed by your eye doctor.

    What Is The Shingles Vaccine

    How Can You Prevent Shingles

    The shingles vaccine can protect you against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , which is the most common complication of shingles. Shingles is a painful rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. The rash usually develops on one side of your body or face. It starts with red bumps and then the bumps turn into fluid-filled blisters.

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    What Drugs Are Prescribed For Shingles

    If postherpetic neuralgia develops, similar medications are used to treat PHN pain.

    While it may seem strange for your doctor to prescribe drugs for shingles that are commonly used to treat depression and prevent seizures, shingles is at root a nerve disorder, and these drugs work in different ways to calm overactive nerves.

    Antiepileptics in general are thought to reduce the ability of the neurons to fire at high frequency, says Sangeetha Kodoth, MD, an allergist and immunologist with Allergy Specialists of Knoxville in Tennessee.

    Its believed that tricyclic antidepressants an older class of antidepressants work by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, which then modify pain response.

    Antibacterial agents may also be prescribed if a bacterial infection occurs with the shingles rash.

    Before taking any medication for shingles, be sure to talk to your doctor about possible side effects.

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    Steroid Medication For Shingles

    Steroids help to reduce swelling . A short course of steroid tablets may be considered in addition to antiviral medication. This may help to reduce pain and speed healing of the rash. However, the use of steroids in shingles is controversial. Your doctor will advise you. Steroids do not prevent PHN.

    Also Check: What Does Shingles Look Like On Your Chest

    When Should You Get Vaccinated Against Shingles

    Most people should be vaccinated against shingles at ages 50 and over. People ages 18 and over who have health conditions or take medications that can weaken the immune system should consider getting the shingles vaccine before age 50.

    For people receiving the vaccine at ages 50 and over, there is no particular time and no maximum age when you should be vaccinated.

    Vaccination against shingles can be done on its own or alongside other vaccinations, like for the flu or pneumonia. Generally, the vaccine is given in two doses, with the second dose given 2 to 6 months after the first dose.

    For people who are receiving the shingles vaccine because of an immune deficiency, the second dose can be given sooner: 1 to 2 months after the first dose.

    In this case, if possible, shingles vaccination should be timed with your immune response. This could mean waiting until after a flare-up of your condition has subsided or getting the vaccine before you receive certain immune-suppressing medications.

    7 years and remains effective afterward.

    Speak with a doctor about how often you should be vaccinated for shingles based on your specific immune system and health concerns.

    The shingles vaccine that is currently available in the United States was introduced in 2017, so you may have questions about it. Below are answers to some of the most common questions.

    What Does Early Stages Of Shingles Look Like

    TruDefinition® Duration® Designer Shingles

    Shingles progress through several stages as the virus replicates in your body. Shingles start as a rash with red bumps, known as papules, distributed most frequently over your back and torso.

    Within several days, grouped blisters are present. Within seven to ten days, the vesicles dry up and crust.

    The early stage of shingles looks like small, red, raised, solid pimples or an inflamed rash. These are tiny, raised bumps on the skin. Eventually, these bumps blister and later crust. The beginning stages of shingles create tingling and localized pain.

    The early stages of shingles are also described as itching, burning, or deep pain. People who have had shingles also described the early stages as similar to the beginning of the flu.

    Read Also: Does Stress Bring On Shingles

    Treatment For Shingles Rash And Pain

    Medications and lifestyle changes can provide relief.

    Despite the availability of a highly effective vaccine, an estimated 1 million Americans develop shingles each year.1 Early diagnosis and treatment are key to limiting the severity of the outbreak as well as its associated complications, including nerve damage. There are also simple at-home remedies that can help patients stay as comfortable as possible.

    Antiviral medications should be started within 72 hours of the first shingles symptoms. The three antivirals most often prescribed are acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir. They help the shingles rash crust over, dry up, and heal, shortening the course of the infection.

    Pain is a major factor with shingles. Patients can consult with their health care provider on over-the-counter and prescription options to manage it. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen can be effective, while prescription glucocorticoids such as prednisone can help with more aggressive pain. Short-term usage of opioid pain medicationlike oxycodone or hydrocodone/acetaminophen is reserved for the highest levels of pain.

    Shingles typically lasts between 2 and 6 weeks patients are usually confined to their home for the duration both for their own comfort and to prevent spreading the virus to others. There are a number of simple steps they can take to promote healing and increase their comfort level.

    References

    Is A Vaccine Available To Prevent Shingles

    Two vaccines are available in the United States to reduce your chance of developing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia. One vaccine, Zostavax®, has been available since 2006. The second vaccine, Shingrix®, has been available since 2017. Shingrix is recommended as the preferred vaccine by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group of medical and public health experts.

    Shingrix is given as a two-dose shot in your upper arm. You should receive the second dose two to six months after receiving the first. Shingrix has been shown to be more than 90% effective in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia. Its effectiveness remains above 85% for at least four years after receiving the vaccine.

    Read Also: How Do People Get Shingles

    Can You Get Shingles After Youve Been Vaccinated

    While the shingles vaccine is highly effective, some people can still get shingles. However, people who do get shingles after getting the shingles vaccine usually have milder symptoms and a shorter illness. Youll also be less likely to have complications from shingles, including postherpetic neuralgia.

    How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Shingles

    Shingles: What You Should Know | Johns Hopkins Medicine

    A dermatologist can often diagnose shingles by looking at the rash on your skin.

    If there is any question about whether you have shingles, your dermatologist will scrape a bit of fluid from a blister. This will be sent to a lab where a doctor will look at the fluid under a high-powered microscope.

    When you have shingles, the fluid contains the virus that causes shingles. Seeing the virus confirms that you have shingles.

    Your dermatologist will also ask about your symptoms. Shingles tends to be painful.

    When the shingles rash spreads to an eye, it can affect your eyesight

    You can reduce this risk by seeing an ophthalmologist immediately.

    Read Also: What Does Shingles Look Like On Your Hands

    Are There Natural Ways To Boost Your Immune System To Help Lessen The Chances Of Developing Shingles

    Stress is a risk factor for developing shingles, so limiting your stress can be helpful. Try meditation, yoga or other relaxation methods.

    Other things you can do include:

    • Eat a healthy diet.
    • Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
    • Dont smoke or use tobacco products.

    These are all tips for an overall healthy lifestyle, not just for reducing your chance of getting shingles.

    What Causes Internal Shingles

    The varicella zoster virus causes shingles. Its the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a bout of chickenpox, the virus becomes dormant in the body and settles in certain nerves and tissue of the nervous system. Later in life, the virus can reactivate and present itself as shingles. Shingles typically appears on the skin along the nerve path where it had been previously dormant. If the reactivation of the virus becomes severe, it can affect not only the skin but other organs too. This is what is called systemic or internal shingles.

    Read Also: When Should You Start Getting The Shingles Vaccine

    How Is Shingles Diagnosed

    As with most other diseases, doctors will typically review your symptoms first. Be sure to take note of how long youve experienced symptoms, what your exact symptoms are, and their severity. Doctors may suspect internal shingles if your symptoms involve more than your skin. They will often suspect eye or nervous system involvement based on the location of the shingles rash. However, if you have a painful rash along with a cough, severe headache, or abdominal pain, you may have a more serious complication of shingles.

    Doctors may perform the following tests to confirm your diagnosis of shingles:

    • direct fluorescence antibody stain

    When Should I See My Doctor

    Timberline® Natural Shadow® Shingles with StainGuard Protection

    See your doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing any symptoms of shingles. Starting treatment with antiviral medicines within 3 days of the rash appearing should reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of further complications, including post-herpetic neuralgia.

    See your doctor straight away if you have symptoms of shingles and are experiencing the following:

    • symptoms that affect your eye area
    • a temperature of 38°C or higher

    You should also see your doctor if you are pregnant, or have a weakened immune system due to medicine that suppresses the immune system, or a condition that weakens your immune system.

    Also Check: What Can I Use On Shingles

    Long Term Side Effects

    In rare cases, the live shingles vaccine, Zostavax, can cause a skin rash or shingles.

    The rash that occurs with shingles can affect any area of the body, but it often appears as a line of blisters that wraps around the torso.

    Within a few days the blisters cluster, and they continue to form for several more days. The blisters can take 2â3 weeks to heal, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

    Other common symptoms of shingles include:

    two shingles vaccines for adults: the recombinant zoster vaccine and the zoster virus vaccine .

    Can I Give Shingles To Others

    No one can catch shingles from you. But the virus can be spread to a person who has never had chickenpox. The virus lives in the blisters that shingles causes. It can be spread until the blisters are completely healed. If you have blisters that have not crusted over yet, you should stay away from:

    • Anyone who has never had chickenpox
    • Babies under 12 months old
    • Very sick people

    Tell your doctor if you live with children who have not had chickenpox. They may need to be vaccinated.

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    Preventing The Virus Spreading

    If you have the shingles rash, do not share towels or flannels, go swimming, or play contact sports. This will help prevent the virus being passed on to someone who has not had chickenpox.

    You should also avoid work or school if your rash is weeping and cannot be covered.

    Chickenpox can be particularly dangerous for certain groups of people. If you have shingles, avoid:

    • women who are pregnant and have not had chickenpox before as they could catch it from you, which may harm their unborn baby
    • people who have a weak immune system, such as someone with HIV or AIDS
    • babies less than one month old, unless it is your own baby, in which case your baby should have antibodies to protect them from the virus

    Once your blisters have dried and scabbed over, you are no longer contagious and will not need to avoid anyone.

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